Each year at Carmel Academy, the school’s sixth graders lead a poignant Yom HaZikaron service in remembrance of Israel’s fallen soldiers and victims of terrorism.
This year, Carmel’s sixth graders not only led the community in a moving ceremony, but also helped create a permanent memorial that will leave an indelible imprint for generations to come.
Over the course of several months, the students met with Sara Aldouby to hear the story of her brother, Yisrael Shindler, a paratrooper killed in combat during the Yom Kippur War.
Aldouby is a Trumbull-based sculptor and mother of Dr. Tali Aldouby-Schuck, Carmel’s Director of Judaic Studies. Her renowned works are exhibited throughout the world and include "Wings of Peace" which stands on the shores of the Sea of Galilee in Israel. Through Aldouby, the students learned not just about the extraordinary life and sacrifice of her brother, but also how the artist uses her talent to honor the memory of those who are no longer with us.
“In many ways Yom HaZikaron is so far removed from our students’ lives in America,” said Aldouby-Schuck, who sought a way to help make the students’ connection to the fallen soldier they were memorializing feel personal, relevant and meaningful.
The sixth graders met with Aldouby at one of her art exhibits, and sat with her as she recounted memories of Yisrael, a Holocaust survivor and one of the few ultra orthodox paratroopers serving in the IDF at the time.
“She spoke of her memories, his life, family and legacy, and then they saw the memorial sculptures she creates. It was an opportunity for them to think about what it means for art to represent a value or a person – how art speaks in that way,” said Aldouby-Schuck.
In the days leading up to Yom HaZikaron, Aldouby visited Carmel and led a workshop in which the students created their own clay memorial sculptures.
“She was able to give the students a multi-sensory experience. They learned the importance of memory, and about creating memory through their hands,” Aldouby-Schuck said.
“The students then helped Aldouby complete a memorial sculpture entitled “Eternal Flight”, created in memory of Yisrael Shindler and all of Israel’s fallen soldiers. The sculpture was erected and dedicated by the sixth graders in Carmel’s Upper School Courtyard.
“I hope that when other students look at the sculpture that we made with Mrs. Aldouby, they learn how important it is to remember the soldiers who risked their lives to fight and protect Israel,” said sixth grader Elie Madof.
With the Aldouby family in attendance, the students led a Yom HaZikaron ceremony dedicated to Yisrael Shindler, telling his brave life story. Sara Aldouby was invited by the students to light a candle in her brother’s memory.
“I have been at many, many ceremonies before, but this was the most important and meaningful one yet,” said sixth grader Annie Mozer. “We worked hard to create a beautiful ceremony. It was a lot of work, but so important.”